Oh, my god, you guys, I am SOOOOOOOOOO sorry about the unnaturally long wait. I have a semi-excuse of school and illness and school and work and whatnot and I am SO fucking sorry. PLEASE DON'T HATE ME!

Anyway, this is gonna be the last chapter of The Education of Sherlock Holmes, but I do have another idea that I've mentioned before and I would work on when I had the time. So, this idea involves a badass villain chick named Roxanne Aries who is a bipolar schizophrenic with suicidal tendencies who only wants to destroy the world and sets off a bomb in a ladies' bathroom for no particular reason. Interested?

And I would just like to thank FrankandJoe3, Flying Alone, All my fandom tears, MAFITA, Sagaria, completecrimeshowaddict, andromeda's song, Plexy, onceuponatimesupporter, Carverslily, Toxic-Wolves, HawkeyeFan311, shhylady, and everyone else who has read this story. You all are just so beautiful and wonderful and amazing and everything you say just fills my heart with joy and makes me feel like I'm worth something. I'm not kidding. I've struggled with serious self-esteem issues for years and you guys and your comments really make me feel like I'm worthy and that I'm special. You give me a reason to think that I'm not pathetic and useless and I want to thank you for that. Thank you guys so much for just reading this story and commenting. It really does mean the world to me and I'll try to get some new stuff up soon.

Chapter Eighteen: My Immortal

John got out of the cab and walked up to the door, craving a good cuppa after a long day at work.

"So how many times did he try today?" he asked with amused curiosity.

"Only eight," Thompson replied with a smile.

The day after John and Sherlock had come home from the hospital, John had made sure that Sherlock was okay before going out to work and finding a tall, muscular man sitting at a café table near the door. Not thinking anything of it, John went to work and came home to discover the same man sitting in the same place. He had gone up to the man and had calmly asked him how long he'd been there. He immediately informed John that his name was Thompson and that he and about thirty other men had been appointed by Mycroft to watch the exits of 221B and the surrounding buildings to make sure that Sherlock didn't go anywhere. In the two weeks that they'd been home, Sherlock had averaged nine escape attempts every day, all thwarted by the numerous guards, the only reason being the large number of guards and the fact that Sherlock's body was still sensitive.

"And when will you guys be set free?" John inquired conversationally.

"Another week," Thompson answered easily. "But it's fine. I don't mind watching Sherlock and making sure he doesn't go anywhere. Though I have no idea how you can live with him."

"It's not always easy," John admitted, smiling.

"Seems like that'd be an understatement. Anyway, you should probably go on up; Sherlock starts to raise hell whenever you're late."

"Doesn't he always. Well, you go get some rest," John advised.

"Thank you. Now I can go down to the pub and tell Mycroft it was doctor's orders."

John smiled and walked into the flat.

"Hello, dearie," Mrs Hudson said as he shut the door, her voice pleasant and welcoming with a touch of the long-suffering that came with being around Sherlock Holmes.

"Good afternoon, Mrs Hudson," John greeted warmly. "How was your day?"

"It's been good. Sherlock's missed you," she said as John went to help her with her groceries.

"Has he really?" John asked incredulously, for even though he knew that they loved each other, it still made him feel special whenever Sherlock expressed affection towards him.

"Of course he has," Mrs Hudson said matter-of-factly as they finished putting away her groceries. "Now go and see him. You know Sherlock shouldn't be left alone for very long."

"Right. Thanks." Mrs Hudson smiled at John as the doctor turned and went up the stairs.

Sherlock was lying on the sofa in his normal position, eyes closed, hands steepled beneath his chin.

"How are you feeling?" John asked as he closed the door and removed his shoes.

Sherlock didn't respond and the doctor went up to him and repeated the question before he realised that the detective was in his mind palace. John carefully examined the scar on the side of Sherlock's head and gently ran his finger over the slightly puffed-up skin before moving the detective's sides and pressing his fingers to the other man's chest. He could just feel the scars that Moriarty had left and he pulled down the collar of Sherlock's shirt to look at the scars on the detective's chest. Like his head, the scars on his chest were slightly puffy and a dark red and still scabbed.

John took a minute to examine all the wounds he could get to before fixing Sherlock's collar and moving down to the detective's waist, sitting down on the coffee table as he did so. He pushed up the detective's shirt to examine his stab wound and saw that the bandage hadn't been changed in all the time he'd been gone.

He sighed and took his medical kit out of his bag, internally cursing Sherlock for not being able to take care of himself. He gently peeled off the medical tape and winced at how red and swollen the wound was, pus lightly covering the bandage and wound.

"Dammit, Sherlock," John said quietly, putting aside the bandage and uncapping the bottle of alcohol.

"John?" Sherlock asked in confusion, looking up at the other man. "What's going on?"

"I'm changing your bandage because you are a child who doesn't know how to take care of himself," John said calmly and without malice as he poured some alcohol on Sherlock's side.

"Ow!" Sherlock cried, jumping away from the stinging pain.

"Oh, stop moving," John said easily, shifting Sherlock's hips before going back to cleaning the wound.

"I lost track of time," Sherlock offered after a moment, his hands going back to underneath his chin.

"You lost track of time so much that it just never occurred to you that you should change the bandage on your pus-covered, swollen stab wound?" John asked in disbelief while applying antibiotic ointment.

"Yup," Sherlock replied simply, his eyes closed again.

"What have you been doing all day, anyway?" John asked in curiosity as he taped down a fresh bandage.

"Composing, brooding, going through your possessions," Sherlock said simply.

"Okay, we're gonna have to work so that this doesn't get infected and—You went through my possessions?!" John demanded in shocked anger.

"I don't understand why you're so surprised," Sherlock said calmly, not looking at his doctor. "It's not as if I actually respect your personal property."

"Well, I mean, even though I'm used to you going through my e-mails, I just didn't think you'd actually get the urge to go through my stuff," John explained as he put his things back into his medical bag.

"Oh, I've gotten the urge quite a lot. It's only these last two weeks that I've acted on said urge."

"Uh-huh," John said, still simmering but no longer explosively angry. "And did you find anything interesting?"

"The magazines beneath your loose floorboards were interesting in that you attempted to hide them, but boring in themselves," Sherlock replied calmly, his words causing John to freeze in shock.

"And why did you decide to look beneath my floorboards?" John asked with a forced calm.

"John, do you seriously think that I don't know every inch of this flat?" Sherlock asked indignantly, looking at the doctor without moving his head or hands. "I know which floorboards are loose and given that you've lived here for quite some time and you're not blindingly oblivious, it's only logical that you would find the loose floorboard and then proceed to hide something that you would want to keep private."

"You know," John started, his voice hard and restrained, "usually, when someone tries to hide something, their friend respects their privacy."

"Is there anything usual about our relationship?" Sherlock questioned, his eyes closed, hands folded on his stomach.

"No, but you could respect my privacy on occasion," John said with less force.

"I could, but then I wouldn't be me."

John went to put up his medical supplies and went into the kitchen to make some tea. While the kettle was boiling, John moved to the doorway and gazed at his detective lying on the couch. He had never really thought about how close he'd come to losing the man, but standing there, waiting for the kettle, it hit him just how lucky he was. Sherlock's heart had stopped and John had still brought him back. When John had heard the heart monitor flat lining, his own heart had stopped. He realised now that he couldn't imagine life without Sherlock.

Before he'd met the detective, he'd been lonely, lost and drifting. He'd had to force himself to get up every day and every time he'd looked at his gun, he'd thought of just ending it all. And then he'd met Sherlock. He smiled at the memory of their first meeting, at how sad and ignorant he'd been. From the first word Sherlock had said to him, he knew that he wanted to be around the detective as much as possible. He had healed John in so many ways besides his limp, and he probably didn't even realise it.

John thought about what Mycroft had told him about Sherlock being softer and kinder and thought that maybe they were meant to be together. Maybe it was fate or destiny that brought them together. Maybe it was the god that John didn't know if he believed in. But whatever the reason, John knew that here, with Sherlock, was where he belonged. They say that home is where the heart is and since John's heart belonged to the detective, he supposed his home was wherever Sherlock was.

The squealing of the tea kettle brought John out of his reverie and he went back into the kitchen. He brought the two cups of tea into the living room and placed on the coffee table. He noticed that Sherlock's arm was dangling off the couch and he moved up the detective's sleeve to find three nicotine patches on his pale skin.

"Sherlock," he moaned in frustration, kneeling down to remove the patches.

"I need to think," Sherlock explained, pulling his arm away from John.

"What part of 'your body is vulnerable' do you not understand?" John demanded, making another grab for Sherlock's arm.

"I understand it perfectly well. I just choose to ignore it," Sherlock replied, again pulling his arm out of the doctor's grip.

He curled up into a ball, his back to John, and the doctor ran his hands over his hair.

"Sherlock, will you please just let me take care of you?" John nearly pleaded.

"I'm fine," Sherlock insisted, his voice slightly muffled by the cushions.

John sighed and lightly smacked Sherlock's side, causing the detective to give a sharp yelp of pain.

"Yeah, you're totally fine," John said sarcastically.

"You know, I took care of myself just fine before you moved in," Sherlock commented, unconsciously putting a hand to his side.

"A fact which never ceases to amaze me," John said drily, picking up one of the cups of tea. "Now roll over and drink this."

The detective remained still for a moment before groaning and rolling over. He carefully took the tea, blew on it, and began sipping it while John began sipping his own tea.

"Anything on the website?" John wasn't really going to let Sherlock do anything too strenuous, he just needed something to say.

"Nothing of interest," Sherlock replied, setting his tea on the table and lying back, his eyes closed. "Mostly just idiots whining about their pets disappearing or money being stolen or their relative being murdered."

"Murders are fun. Did I seriously just say that?" John marvelled, slightly shocked by his response.

"Not when the answer is blindingly obvious," Sherlock bemoaned.

"So did you actually help anyone, or did you just complain about how stupid they are?"

"Both," Sherlock replied, smiling.

"Sherlock…" John started nervously, putting his cup down beside the detective's. "That conversation that we were gonna have?"

"Yes?" Sherlock asked calmly, not opening his eyes.

John hesitated a moment, his eyes on the floor, as he tried to decide how he should phrase his question.

"What… What happened? With Moriarty?" he finally asked nervously, his eyes on his intertwined hands.

"I should think that the state you found me in would give you a clear idea of what happened," Sherlock replied, his voice calm and confident with just the slightest harsh undertone.

"Well, yes, but… Maybe you need to talk about it," John suggested hesitantly, looking back to Sherlock's face.

The detective was silent, his expression inscrutable.

"John, don't attempt to treat me as if I'm a normal person," he ordered firmly, eyes still closed. "I am not the same as everyone else. I don't need your psychoanalysis."

It struck John just how alone Sherlock felt he had to be. Even if there were people ready and willing to help him, the detective felt he had to deal with everything on his own.

Without thinking about it, John reached out and gently twined his fingers in Sherlock's hair, causing the detective to tense up.

"John, what are you doing?" he asked in confusion, opening his eyes and looking at his doctor.

"What, I can sleep with you, but I'm not allowed to pet your hair?" John questioned, his voice worry painted over with light-heartedness.

Sherlock just looked down at his hands uncertainly as John kept his hand where it was, losing himself in the silky softness.

"You're not alone, Sherlock," he said intently after a moment, moving his hand to the detective's cheek. "I'll always be here for you."

Sherlock took a shaky breath before looking up at John with the raw and unguarded emotion that the doctor had come to refer to as his look.

"John, I…" He swallowed and looked down before continuing. "I'm afraid."

John was stunned into silence for a moment, unable to believe that Sherlock could really feel fear.

"Afraid of what?" he finally asked as he gently stroked Sherlock's cheeks, his voice tender and loving.

Sherlock bit his bottom lip and hesitated before forcing himself to say, "Moriarty."

"Moriarty? But Sherlock, you're better than him, stronger than him. Surely you know that."

"John, he… What he did to me, I… I've never been that vulnerable, John. I just…I couldn't control anything. My mind and body were his. I was his puppet." Sherlock's voice trembled on the last word, his facial muscles twitching as he looked at the ceiling and tried not to cry.

"Shh, it's okay. You're safe," John soothed, moving onto the floor and pressing his forehead to Sherlock's, his hands on the detective's face. "You're safe. I'll never let him touch you again."

Sherlock gave a strangled laugh, tears leaking out of his eyes, his hands going to the back of John's head and caressing his neck.

"I never thought that an army doctor would be offering to protect me."

"And I never thought I'd be offering to protect a high-functioning sociopath," John replied with a little chuckle, using his thumbs to wipe away Sherlock's tears.

"I love you, John." Sherlock's face froze in a shocked expression, shocked by his own words.

He thought about it for a moment and his expression changed and became confident, his eyes and voice sure as he repeated himself. "I love you, John Watson."

"And I love you, Sherlock Holmes," John answered, smiling in love as he pressed his lips to the detective's.

Sherlock deepened the kiss, pulling John closer and wrapping one arm around his doctor's shoulders. John moved one hand into Sherlock's curls and slid the other one to the side of the detective's neck, feeling his strong, rapid pulse. Sherlock opened his mouth and John slowly but intently slid his tongue into the detective's tea-and-spice flavoured mouth. He gently wrapped his tongue around Sherlock's while moving his hand down to the detective's uninjured side and slipped his hand under the taller man's shirt.

Not breaking the kiss, Sherlock shifted to the edge of the couch and reached down to grab John's hips, pulling the smaller man on top of him. They both separated for air and to remove their shirts, John gasping a bit at Sherlock's scar-riddled torso. He traced the first few scars with shaky fingers before looking back up into his detective's eyes.

Sherlock looked back at John with anxiety and uncertainty and something else he had never experienced before: doubt in himself. He didn't know what he should do, what John wanted, what he wanted.

Seeing his uncertainty, John leaned down, being careful not to make contact with Sherlock's chest or side, and gently pressed his lips back to the detective's. Sherlock's hands travelled to John's tight arse and pulled him closer, their groins grinding together.

John moaned into Sherlock's mouth, his forearms on the sofa, fingers in the detective's hair. He began rolling his hips against Sherlock's craving the blessed friction he had been denied for so long. His mouth moved to the detective's long neck and he began nibbling on it just a bit, the way he knew Sherlock liked it. Sherlock moaned in desire and pushed his hands into his doctor's trousers, clutching almost desperately at his smooth skin.

John sat up, still straddling Sherlock's waist, and removed his socks. Maintaining eye contact with the other man, John removed his belt and tossed it away, Sherlock's hands on his hips. John looked down worriedly at Sherlock's newly-bandaged side and lightly ghosted his fingers across the bandage, unsure of whether or not he should go all the way with Sherlock while the detective was still injured. Sure, he was mostly healed, but his side still needed recovery and stressing Sherlock's body didn't exactly qualify as recovery.

"Fine," Sherlock said impatiently.

Before John could ask what he meant, the detective rolled them over and pinned John to the floor, his face barely a centimetre from John's.

"People on your blog are always saying I should be on top anyway." His warm breath danced over John's skin, making the doctor shiver and squirm with desire.

Sherlock moved backwards down John's legs and removed his trousers and pants before standing and removing his own pyjama trousers and pants. He sank back down onto John's waist and laid on top of him, putting his hands on the doctor's shoulders and attaching his mouth to the smaller man's neck. Their bare cocks rubbed together and John wrapped his arms around the detective's shoulders, pulling him closer.

John pulled Sherlock's mouth back to his as they desperately rutted against each other, the need to be connected burning a powerful flame in their every motion.

Sherlock quickly moved back and shoved John's legs up to his chest. He reached under the sofa and grabbed the bottle of lube, hurriedly lathering his fingers and his burning cock.

"No, no, no, I'm fine. Just get inside me," John breathed when Sherlock pushed a finger into him.

"John, are you sure?" the detective asked, fighting the temptation to wildly have his way with the doctor.

"I'm sure," John panted, looking up at Sherlock with blown pupils, the colour of his eyes almost completely obliterated.

Sherlock hesitated a moment before removing his finger and slowly inserting his hard, hot dick. John hissed with pain, but pulled Sherlock closer, encouraging him to go deeper. When he was finally all the way in, he paused to let John adjust, their foreheads pressed firmly together.

"Oh, g—Oh, god, Sherlock," John panted, digging his nails into the detective's back. "Oh, god, you…"

"You feel incredible," Sherlock breathed, his eyes and voice completely at peace.

"Move. Please." It came out like a beg, but John was beyond caring.

Sherlock readily complied, moving his hips forward, slowly at first, but then faster and faster until he was slamming into John, his balls smacking against the doctor's skin.

As they moved together, the only thing that could be heard were their moans and cries and the sounds of skin on skin, burning fire coiling in the pits of their stomachs. They held each other tightly, needing the blessed burn, and John gasped into Sherlock's mouth as he came, the clenching of his muscles bringing the detective over the edge.

Sherlock pulled out of John and lay beside him, both of them sweating and panting. They gazed lovingly into each other's eyes, gently stroking each other's faces and bodies, and never wanted to move again.

"I love you, Sherlock Holmes," John said as he floated on clouds of bliss.

"And I love you, John Watson," Sherlock replied, smiling and placing a delicate kiss on his doctor's nose, knowing in his heart that as long as he had John, everything would be all right.

FINALLY. FINALLY. DONE. YES. I'm kidding, I'm not really that excited that this is over, I just love the feeling of finishing a project. Again, I'm sorry this took so long to update (and please disregard any typos), but I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what you think of this story and my idea for another story and don't forget to follow me on Tumblr (my URL there is futuredavies). I love you all and I am honoured that you all have stayed with me this long. And feel free to check out my other stuff on this site. Oh, and if you get tired of me, go read taylorpotato's The Taming of John Watson. That shit's magical.

Again, I love you all and always remember that you are beautiful and special and there will always be someone who loves you. No matter what happens, there is always hope and there are always people who are willing to help you. You are not alone.